Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

The American presidential election, a test for democracy

Open in full screen mode

The coming months will confirm whether Americans will witness a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The Canadian Press

The future of democracy could emerge as one of the central themes of the 2024 United States presidential election in the event of a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, according to observers of American politics.

Mr. Trump remains the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican Party's presidential nominee. He recently suggested that he might abuse his powers once he returns to the White House to achieve certain goals.

Several observers are alarmed by the potential authoritarian excesses of the 77-year-old man if he is re-elected, starting with the current American president. Mr. Biden, who wants to run for a second term under the Democratic banner, said that democracy will be more at risk in 2024.

According to him, the ex-president and his allies seek to destroy democratic institutions.

Full professor of history Jason Opal, of x27;McGill University, believes that next November's election promises to be crucial for the current constitutional order of the United States.

LoadingThe impasse continues in the negotiations between Quebec and the FIQ

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: The impasse continues in the negotiations between Quebec and the FIQ

There is someone #x27;one who says that he does not respect the Constitution, that he will chase away or will attack those who criticize him. […] If he comes to power, [Trump] will certainly replace a very large number of federal government employees with his supporters. I feel like some rights and freedoms are at stake.

A quote from Jason Opal, full professor at McGill University, specializing in American constitutionalism.

His supporters are much more consistent. They have a plan to truly shake up the government, the federal state, and target their enemies. It's unprecedented in American history to have such a figure with such influence in this position, he adds.

If the word historic has often been used to describe an American presidential election, the qualifier risks being applied once again to talk about the next race, advance Frédérick Gagnon, holder of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair in strategic and diplomatic studies.

Because if Trump returns to power, we know a little bit about what to expect next. We see his declarations at the moment, we see his projects, we see who he wants to appoint around him as advisors, says the director of the Observatory on the United States at the University of Quebec in Montreal ( UQAM).

The specter of a re-election of Donald Trump frightens many and could be very mobilizing to the advantage of Biden, believes Mr. Gagnon.

When we conducted field surveys in the United States during the 2022 mid-term elections, there were many Democratic voters who basically told us that they were afraid for the future. of American democracy, relates the researcher.

Many Democrats dissatisfied with the 46th president of the country could therefore end up lining up behind him in order to block the road to Mr. Trump, continues Mr. Gagnon.

Mr. Biden has already begun to refocus his message on the defense of democracy, while his speeches on his economic record seem to arouse little enthusiasm among the population, notes the UQAM researcher.

Beyond democracy, the economy, inflation and the right to abortion are also likely to be essential issues of the presidential campaign.

Mr. Opal also identifies Obamacare, the health insurance program signed under the presidency of Barack Obama in 2010.

Mr. Trump recently said he wanted to replace this program, which he already tried to invalidate when he was president of the United States.

Democrats are going to mention this all the time. They will say: "we, the Democrats, we will protect, we will expand, we will further encourage Obamacare, while Trump will dismantle it," says Mr. Opal, who specifies that this policy obtains strong support among the population, even among Republicans.

The possibility of seeing acts of violence emerge during and after the presidential campaign also worries the two observers of American politics.

Open in mode fullscreen

In the event of close results between the two candidates, some observers fear violence similar to that which marked the assault on the capitol in January 2021. (Archive photo)

Trump never seeks to unify Americans, to ease tensions. He likes to intensify divisions, arouse anger and spread rumors or conspiracies, says Mr. Opal.

The episode of the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 presents itself as a bad omen if the race were to end with results as close as four years ago, underlines for his part Mr. Gagnon.

If it comes down to, for example, a few tens of thousands of votes in one state of the country, we can imagine the kind of crisis. And then, maybe we will go weeks without knowing who the president is. There may be violent clashes. It is a country that remains fragile.

A quote from Frédérick Gagnon, director of the Observatory on the United States at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM).

Canada has every interest in keeping an eye on the situation in its southern neighbors, adds Mr. Gagnon.

Because if things go badly in the United States in the next few years after the election, it could have effects on us. The vast majority of our international exports go to the United States. Our economy depends a lot on what happens in the United States, he explains.

The coming months will confirm whether Americans will indeed witness a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. The Democratic and Republican primaries – the process of choosing each side's candidate for the White House – will take place during 2024.

Chez Republicans, Mr. Trump obtains a large share of support and dominates his rivals, according to various polls.

However, in the coming weeks and months we will have to monitor the effects of the recent decision of the Colorado Supreme Court, which declared Mr. Trump ineligible for the 2024 presidential election due to his role in the assault on Capitol.

Maine's secretary of state made a similar decision Thursday, but it will likely be up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide this affair.

Open in full screen mode

The trials and the 91 offenses that Donald Trump is facing do little harm to him. Here, his appearance in a New York court to answer to a civil lawsuit in which he is accused of having inflated the value of his real estate assets, in November 2023.

The trials and 91 offenses he faces are doing little harm to Mr. Trump so far. On the contrary, the legal proceedings allowed him to fuel the support of his supporters by claiming to be the victim of a witch hunt and to occupy media space, analyzes M. Gagnon.

However, a poll from the New York Timesmade public last November suggests a drop in voting intentions if Mr. Trump were convicted of a crime; he would lose six points on average in six key states in the presidential election, indicates the UQAM researcher.

In the Democratic ranks, Mr. Biden does not seem to be threatened so far either. Democratic bigwigs considered serious candidates to succeed the president have decided to remain loyal to him.

Mr. Opal, however, believes that doubt remains as to the possibility that the current president will withdraw from the race due to his age, 81, and his state of health.

At least the question arises, according to him, in light of a recent declaration. Mr. Biden said he would have been less certain about running if Mr. Trump had not been a candidate.

He was perhaps a response to Democrats who think he should step down, and to polls showing low satisfaction with his job.

What Biden says a lot is that he was the candidate who beat Trump in 2020. And according to him, he still has the best candidate to beat him, says Mr. Gagnon.

By admin

Related Post